INTERNATIONAL BATTERY METALS LTD. has attended a tour of its newly completed direct lithium extraction (DLE) plant hosted by SORCIA MINERALS LLC (“SORCIA”) with special guest, Dr. Alonso Arellano, Professor, UNIVERSIDAD DE SANTIAGO DE CHILE (“USACH”).
USACH’s Dr. Arellano stated: “We are extremely satisfied with the last phase of construction and successful assembly of the plant. This plant will forever change the lithium mining industry in Chile, safeguarding the environment, protecting the flora, fauna and the water found in nearby salt flats, and re-injecting at least 90% of the brine in the same conditions that it had before starting the separation process.”
USACH determined after considerable review of the available technology, that the process developed by IBAT’s Dr. John Burba is the only one capable of separating lithium without leaving a significant impact on the environment. Dr. John Burba developed the original absorption technology which has been operating in the salt flats of Hombre Muerto in Argentina since 1998. IBAT’s new modular technology has little to no environmental impact and sustains the integrity of the water source.
Dr. John Burba, CEO, IBAT said: “Modular technology offers a new, more sustainable approach to the mining of lithium. The separation process will recover an excess of 65% lithium in the brine, maintaining the biodiversity of the salt flat with all the minerals present there, such as magnesium, boron, calcium, among others, without affecting the water balance of the salar or the availability of drinking water for nearby local communities.”
Through an agreement signed between USACH and SORCIA for Research, Development and Innovation (R+D+I); the IBAT technology will contribute to the development of Chile by protecting the environment, minimizing water and energy consumption, and preserving flora and fauna for future generations.
The plant tour included Mr. Daniel T. Layton, President and CEO, Sorcia Minerals LLC; Dr. John Burba, CEO, IBAT; Mr. Rodrigo Dupouy, Country Manager for Chile and Argentina, Sorcia Minerals LLC; and Dr. Alonso Arellano, Professor, University of Santiago de Chile.